GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — State officials say their investigation into PFAS contamination has hit a milestone.
The Michigan PFAS Action Response Team announced Tuesday it is halfway through collecting samples from public water systems to check for PFAS. The water testing is part of a $1.7 million statewide study the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says is the first of its kind in the nation.
As of Aug. 16, MDEQ workers had captured water samples from 892 of the state’s 1,841 public water systems and schools that operate on their own wells. Of the 341 test results returned so far, only Parchment’s water supply has exceeded the federal health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion, which is also the state’s “action level.”
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The state estimates 3,100 people rely on Parchment’s water system. Those people can pick up bottled water at Haven Reformed Church at 5350 N. Sprinkle Road in Kalamazoo from 2 p.m. to 7 pm. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Earlier this month, Kalamazoo commissioners approved allowing Parchment to connect to Kalamazoo’s water supply for at least a year. Two new water stations have been installed to make that happen, and construction on the third and final one under Spanish Road is underway. Residents still won’t be able to drink from their taps until water tests for PFAS and other contaminants come back clean for four consecutive days.
MPART is in charge of the state’s $23 million effort to track and mitigate PFAS contamination in the state’s water. The MDEQ says it is prioritizing approximately 461 schools that operate on their own wells.
State officials hope to finish the statewide PFAS study by the end of this year.